Transitioning to Let's Encrypt wildcard certificates

A month ago I issued a wildcard certificate for * and patiently awaited the expiration of my old HPKP policy. Eventually the time to install the new key and certificate arrived, but to my great dismay, things did not turn out according to plan. Upon restarting the Apache web server, I got served with the following (epic) failure:

Zapping crashed services on Gentoo Linux

While configuring my first Gentoo VPS I somehow managed to crash a service and discovered that I had actually no idea how to recover it. The service no longer had any matching processes but it still refused to stop, and simultaneously insisted it was already started. Severely embarrassed I made sure nobody was looking and rebooted the server.

Arch Linux boot halts on Reached target Multi-User System

Arch pushed out Gnome 3.28 today but unfortunately for me, my system failed to boot properly after the upgrade. The system simply locked up after the “Reached target Graphical Interface” stage. GDM (The GNOME Display Manager) was a prime suspect in my book, so the first order of business was booting into a lower runlevel to figure out what was going on. I’m using systemd-boot (because you can never have enough systemd…) so to enter the kernel command line, I simply hit the “e” key from the boot menu.

BlueOnyx 5209R – Issues with importing signed certificates

Importing signed certificates on BlueOnyx has always been somewhat of a challenge and it’s not well documented. The gist of it is that the certificate you want to import needs to consist of both the certificate and the corresponding private key, and it must have an extension that BlueOnyx understands (*.crt or *.cert works). Even so, my attempt to import a signed certificate from RapidSSL failed with a message stating that the imported certificate did not contain the correct private key.

Unexpected VPN bypass attempts on Arch Linux

So I was minding my own business while connected to my VPN service when I noticed several blocked outbound network connections appearing in my firewall log. For some reason my wifi adapter (wlp3s0) was trying to connect directly to the internet without having traffic routed through my VPN interface (tun0). Was this my reward for not reviewing AUR PKGBUILD files, or was there another explanation as to why wlp3s0 wanted to disclose my real IP address?

Slackware 15.0 will ship Plasma 5

There has been a long and tedious debate among slackers over whether the distribution should stick with KDE4 or move to Plasma 5. According to Slackware’s KDE maintainer Eric Hameleers, a decision has been made and Slackware 15.0 will ship Plasma 5.

Another significant WordPress brute-force attack in the works

So today I’ve experienced a more significant than usual attack against WordPress installations hosted on one of our company servers. So far I’ve blocked more than 17000 21000 unique IP addresses, but the attackers seem to have an endless supply and they’re not slowing down. Note: This article was updated on January 27, 2018.

How to enable HTTP/2 in Apache 2.4 on Gentoo Linux

I recently added support for the HTTP/2 protocol on this server and I am really pleased with the additional performance gains. This VPS was already running a functional LAMP stack, so the following steps describe the necessary configuration changes for my setup which relies on Apache with PHP-FPM.

Gentoo 17.0 profile upgrade is complete

This Scaleway hosted Gentoo x86_64 server (VC1S with 2 cores and 2GB of RAM) has finally completed the move to the new Gentoo 17.0 profile. Rebuilding my entire system consisting of 277 packages lasted 26 hours and went by without any issues. All packages were re-emerged with --jobs=1 to keep the system responsive during compilation, and to avoid exhausting available memory. Gentoo throwing a warning about the use of a deprecated profile.

Gentoo - Protect your running PHP version from emerge depclean

Now that I’ve been running this blog on Gentoo Linux for a while, I’ve discovered a few new potential gotchas when failing to pay attention while interacting with Portage. The latest addition to my list was nearly removing my running PHP installation with emerge --depclean.